Carbon-based energy has fuelled much of our industry as we know it, but its fate is by now clear. We need to decarbonise in order to combat the acceleration of climate change. Among the various alternative energy sources and technologies that are being explored is magnetic confinement fusion, a source of energy that uses a carbon-free process. The fusion process is based on merging light atoms (such as hydrogen isotopes) at very high temperature, which releases an enormous amount of energy. This makes fusion a much more efficient source of energy than fossil fuels.
For example, a single gram of the hydrogen isotopes commonly used in the process can generate the same amount of energy as 11 tons of coal (according to an estimate by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).